Published Mar 22, 2017Released five years after their guest-heavy sophomore release, Tracer (featuring Panda Bear, Kelela and Laurel Halo), Teengirl Fantasy's latest release, 8AM, feels more like a spiritual predecessor to their 2010 debut, the similarly titled 7AM. Where tracks from their last LP began to utilize traditional song structures, complete with choruses and bridges, the 12 tracks that make up 8AM find the Ohio duo returning to the more shapeless, free-flowing dance tracks that constituted their early material.
Although they've made some major adjustments to their sound over the years, moving away from vocal samples and becoming more infatuated with Detroit techno and Chicago house (rather than British R&B and Southern soul), Teengirl Fantasy still seem to have the ability to make their songs sound large and present. But what makes 8AM truly a standout is how Teengirl Fantasy manage to achieve this while keeping each track sounding spacious and uncluttered, never forcing too many ideas together, as the psychedelic slow jam "Crash Soft," the cascading polyrhythmic "Star-rise," the dark vibe of "Seeds" (featuring Khalif Jones, aka Le1f, the album's only guest spot) and the squiggly, driving closer "Wet Eyes and Exhilaration" come off buoyant and lend themselves to repeat spins.
After an extended break, Teengirl Fantasy return wiser and sounding somehow more like themselves. (Planet Mu)